Kanaan Singing In Nashville
July 17, 2004 | 11:57 P.M. EST
It was the third victory of the season for Kanaan, the IRL IndyCar Series points leader who started fifth in this race.
"I was concerned, but I knew we were strong, and I just needed to hold (Sam Hornish Jr.) up, and that is what I did," said Kanaan, who leads Wheldon by 61 points. "We did struggle in the beginning, and we were struggling a little bit in the end, too. To capitalize, I had to finish in the top three, and they gave me the win, so I'll take it."
Hornish Jr. was second and his Marlboro Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves finished third.
They were followed to the finish line by Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Darren Manning and Townsend Bell, who was making his second start in the No. 2 Menards/Johns Manville Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone.
Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice, who won the MBNA Pole Award, finished sixth after making contact with Wheldon on Lap 176.
Rice's Rahal Letterman Racing teammate Vitor Meira, who started on the front row, led the first 113 laps. But he stalled the No. 17 Rahal Letterman Racing Team Centrix Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone during a pit stop. He finished 12th.
"I think (teammate) Vitor Meira and I had the strongest cars, but the best cars don't always win, like tonight," Rice said. "We'll regroup and get prepared for Milwaukee and Michigan. I know we'll be right at the front again at those places."